USASF’s Steve Peterson sent the following email:
As most of you know, there has been much debate about whether the IASF / USASF should continue to offer the International Junior Level 5 Divisions at The Cheerleading Worlds.
The decision to keep the International Junior Divisions came after hearing input at various international meetings and our from our international members during, and following, the 2009 Worlds and Coaches Conference. As a majority, the representatives from the international community felt it was critical to continue offering Worlds International divisions for the development and growth of cheerleading in their countries.
The “International Divisions” were originally created for all countries throughout the World, not just the U.S.
Although they have had the largest overall participation, the U.S. is one country out of the 30 plus that have participated over the past years. However, here in the U.S., where the industry is already developed, many of the event Producers and gyms are not in favor of Junior Cheer teams competing at Worlds because it may create a negative impact to the growth of this sport domestically.
After the announcement of the inclusion of Junior divisions for the 2010 event, there was a significant enough amount of push back from a variety of entities here in the U.S. to cause the decision to be reviewed.
The USASF Board of Directors met today to discuss the issues around this contentious topic. Given that some countries have already awarded bids for the 2010 Cheerleading Worlds event and that the announcement of divisions was made public, it seemed most logical to look at a compromise that would restrict the U.S. involvement in Junior divisions while still making the division available for other countries. Ultimately, the Board has agreed upon the following parameters for awarding for awarding 2010 Cheerleading Worlds bids specifically to U.S. Junior Level 5 teams:
- US Tier 1 and 2 Companies WILL NOT be permitted to award “any” of their allocated 2010 Cheerleading Worlds Bids to “any” Junior Level 5 teams.
- Any U.S. Junior Level 5 team that would like to receive a 2010 Cheerleading Worlds bid to compete in either the International Junior or International Junior Coed Division may still do so, but only by video submission. They will have to submit a video of their routine by January 15, 2010.
- The USASF Selection Committee will select a Worlds caliber judging panel to select the top 3 U.S. teams in each of the International Junior Divisions to represent the U.S. at the 2010 Cheerleading Worlds. These teams will be awarded At Large Bids on or before February 1, 2010.
- All additional details will be written in The 2010 Cheerleading Worlds General Information posted on the usasf.net website in early July.
After weighing out all of the pros and cons, the USASF Board of Directors feels that this new selection process for awarding At Large bids to the U.S. Junior teams is the best compromise because:
- U.S. event producers will not offer Juniors Worlds Bids… which, many do not want to do anyway!
- There would be a maximum of 6 U.S. Junior teams at Worlds versus the 42 we had this year.
- Gyms that want to send a Junior team to Worlds have the choice to compete by video entry and not feel forced to go to Worlds after they receive a Worlds bid at a U.S. qualifying event.
- There will be an opportunity for U.S. Junior Teams at Worlds for the other countries to compete against, which is what the International teams “really” want.
We appreciate your understanding and flexibility regarding this new structure for U.S. Junior teams and the 2010 Cheerleading Worlds. If you have any questions, please contact me!
VP – USASF Events & Corporate Alliances